About the A47

The Route

The A47 is the main east west connection in East Anglia, it links Great Yarmouth in the east with Norwich, King’s Lynn and Peterborough to the A1 in the west. The A1 provides onward connections to the Midlands and north of England. At Great Yarmouth the trunk road continues south to Lowestoft. The A47 passes through the highway authority areas of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk; and the planning authority areas of Fenland, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Breckland, Broadland, South Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney.

The A47 is part of the Trans-European Network and is designated by the British government as a trunk road. The A47 provides a link to key transport hubs such as Norwich International Airport and Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Lowestoft Ports. However, the poor quality and unreliability of parts of the route means it does not function as the ‘gateway to growth’ it should be. 

Highways England have the responsibility for maintaining and improving the road.  They act on behalf of the Department for Transport, who are responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network in England.

Destinations along the route

Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft

  • Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft are recognised as a growth area in the New Anglia LEP's Strategic Economic Plan .
  • The ports are vital for the offshore energy sector.  Parts of Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth have been designated as Enterprise Zones.

Norwich

  • Norwich is the largest economy in East Anglia with Greater Norwich (Broadland, Norwich and South Norfolk) the key driver of economic growth across a large part of Norfolk and Suffolk.
  • Greater Norwich has key strengths in the financial services, business services, creative industries, health and life sciences and engineering sectors. Because of its position as the largest city it attracts large commuting in-flows from the surrounding areas. 
  • Greater Norwich has a thriving retail sector.  It is a key shopping destination for people living as far as 80 miles away.

Swaffham and Dereham

  • These market towns are sited in the centre of Norfolk and will see growth in the coming years.
  • Swaffham has a population of over 7,000, and has seen a large growth of jobs which has largely been driven by an increase in service sector jobs.
  • The population of Dereham is around 18,000 and benefits from a significant local presence in the banking, finance and insurance sector and its proximity to Norwich.

King's Lynn

  • King’s Lynn is a key sub-regional centre, with a population of around 50,000, operating as a discrete centre in its own right, providing services to a very large catchment of people and businesses.

Wisbech

  • Wisbech is on the border of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. It is a historic market town and with a population of around 31,000 and it is the largest settlement in Fenland. It is an important destination for comparison retail and services for the surrounding rural communities. Key sources of employment include food processing industries and manufacturing, logistics and storage.

Peterborough

  • Peterborough has a population of approximately 200,000, and is found within 40 miles of Cambridge. The city’s location means its economy is well-placed to benefit from significant links to other major conurbations.
  • Peterborough is a city which connects the east to the rest of the UK, with an abundance of heritage in an environmentally focussed city.